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Due to legionella, the houses of Düsseldorf have to be renovated

Health in Düsseldorf

How dangerous are legionella?

Due to harmful bacteria, several houses in Mörsenbroich have to be refurbished.

The residents of several buildings on Robert Pride Street will experience difficulties over the next few years. In piping systems, Legionella have been found several times. To avoid any danger to residents, all bathrooms and kitchens must now be renovated. Because microorganisms can make you sick and even deadly.

What are legionella? Legionella, more specifically the species Legionella pneumophila, are rod-shaped bacteria that live in water. They flourish particularly well in stagnant and warm water, for example if the pipelines are not used for a long time.

Are legionella dangerous for humans? The bacteria can trigger legionnaires' disease, a serious pneumonia with fever and chills, which can be fatal without treatment. Pontiac fever is a less serious disease. For transmission, it can only occur in healthy people when bacteria enter the lungs. This can be done with steam in the shower or with atomized water in an air conditioner.

How is controlled on Legionella? Buildings with potable water systems should be regularly checked for dangerous bacteria. Public institutions must be inspected annually, residential buildings every three years. The critical limit is 100 colony forming units per 100 milliliters of drinking water. Positive detection of microorganisms is notifiable in Germany, as is Legionnaire's disease.

How many are there in Düsseldorf? The controls of households and apartments for rent are mandatory, but not verified, the city assumes a high number of undeclared cases. In recent years, five to seven cases of Legionnaires' disease have been reported in Düsseldorf, but this number has increased to 15. In 2018, 10 cases have also been reported to date. Exceptionally hot summers are thought to have favored the growth of bacteria.

What is the situation in Mörsenbroich? Legislative burdens exceeding the threshold have been identified during routine inspections of buildings managed by Corpus Sireo Corporation on Robert-Stolz-Straße and have been disposed of in collaboration with the municipal health service. However, there was no infection. The reason for the charge is an obsolete pipe system with a lot of stagnant water. In order to find a permanent solution, the entire pipe system will be renewed in 75 residential units.

What does this mean for locals? Work has already begun in some vacant apartments. All bathrooms must be renovated, as well as the pipes in the kitchens. Over the next three years, it will be the turn of the 75 apartments and the work will take about four weeks per apartment. Tenants must be satisfied with Dixi toilets and mobile showers during this time. They were promised a temporary rent reduction.